Friday, 9 July 2021

Pacific Peoples Minister agrees with ACT on health reforms


“Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio has echoed the concerns of the ACT Party about the Government’s health reforms and we encourage the rest of his caucus to listen to his concerns,” says ACT’s Health spokesperson Brooke van Velden.

“Sio has questioned the place for Pasifika in the reforms which include a separate Māori Health Authority.

“At the time the reforms were announced ACT said “We have more than two races in New Zealand. What about the health needs of Chinese and Indian New Zealanders?”

“Now Sio has echoed this, pointing out that Pasifika people also have poor health outcomes.

“If Labour is committed to different health systems for groups with the worst outcomes, it would set up a Pasifika Health Authority. The real solution is to devolve and focus resources where they are needed, rather than based on race.

“ACT opposes co-governance – it’s divisive and represents a serious departure from the idea that all New Zealanders have equal rights.

“The creation of a separate Māori Health Authority is more evidence that the Government is committed to implementing the recommendations of He Puapua, a report which aims to give effect to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

"Worse still, the Labour Government's ideological pursuit of co-governance is exclusionary and fails to provide for the needs of New Zealand's diverse population.”

ACT would:

• Publicly subsidise more of the common elective surgeries in private hospitals through competitive tender
• Establish Mental Health and Addiction New Zealand (MHANZ), a standalone agency on a national scale, empowering patients to choose between a range of providers, rather than simply accepting what their DHB offers
• Use lease back arrangements to get hospitals built with private capital as the public system has proven inadequate at maintaining its buildings.

“The creation of a separate Māori Health Authority is a divisive move. The Government must stop separating New Zealanders based on their race and focus on the common dignity of us all.”